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Greening the Library: The Fundamentals and Future of Ecocriticism
By Loretta Johnson ver the last three decades, ecocriticism has emerged as a field of literary study that addresses how humans relate to nonhuman nature or the environment in literature. Today, with the development and expansion of ecocritical studies, any line between human and nonhuman nature has necessarily blurred. So when subjected to ecocriticism, literature of all periods and places—not only ecocentric or environmental literature or nature writing, but all literature—is viewed in terms of
place, setting, and/or environment, all of which have taken on richer meaning. Ecocriticism poses a variety of questions: Would a shift toward an ecological perception of nature change the ways humans inhabit the Earth? Do authors impute certain values and make assumptions when they present the environment and nonhuman life in their works? How does one avoid binary oppositions, or should one perceive human nature in an I/it or I/thou relationship? A rapidly changing theoretical approach, ecocriticism grows out of the traditional approach to literature, in which the critic explores the local or global, the material or physical, or the historical or natural history in the context of a work of art. Such approaches can be interdisciplinary, invoking knowledge of environmental studies, the natural sciences, and cultural and social studies. Though it became a subject heading in the Library of Congress list of “Authorities” in 2002, ecocritism is not yet listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. However, many words prefixed “eco” are listed, among them “ecofeminism” and “economics.” “Eco,”
Loretta Johnson is adjunct professor of humanities at Lewis & Clark College.
from the Greek root oikos, means “house.” The OED cites the German oecologie as the first appearance of “ecology” (in 1876), meaning “the branch of biology that deals with the relationships between living organisms and their environment.” Just as “economy” is the management or law of the house (nomos = law), “ecology” is the study of the house. Ecocriticism, then, is the criticism of the “house,” i.e., the environment, as represented in literature. But the definition of “house,” or oikos, is not simple. Questions remain: What is the environment? What is nature? Why did the term “environment,” which derives from the verb “to environ or surround,” change to mean that which is nonhuman? Are not humans natural and a prominent environment in themselves? Where and in what does one live? Ecocriticism is by nature interdisciplinary, invoking knowledge of environmental studies, the natural sciences, and cultural and social studies, all of which play a part in answering the questions it poses. Since 1990, ecocriticism has burgeoned. Today, a keyword search for “ecocriticism” in the MLA Bibliography online produces 422 hits, three-quarters of which are from the last eight years. Ecocriticism has entered academic course
lists worldwide, along with the creation of interdisciplinary academic faculty positions to teach them. Peter Barry added a chapter titled “Ecocriticism” to the second edition of his Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory, but correctly claims that ecocriticism has no universal model. Accordingly, he lists “what ecocritics do,” which includes read literature from an ecocentric point of view; apply ecological issues to the representation of the natural world; focus on nonfiction and environmental writing that features “nature”; and show appreciation for ethical positions toward nonhuman nature. Although of major importance to ecocritical studies, omitted from this essay are works on environmental science, ecology, environmental history, ecological economics, and theology. Instead the essay focuses exclusively on the new practice in this area and includes only the most important works on the relationship between culture and nature relative to ecocriticism. As a result, most of the works discussed here are within the purview of English and American literature studies and literary theory in English departments.
Essential Texts and Manifestos
Some ecocritics date the birth of the word “ecocriticism” to William Rueckert, who in a 1978 essay titled “Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism” wrote that ecocriticism entailed “application of ecology and ecological concepts to the study of literature.” Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm quite rightly included Rueckert’s essay in their edited volume The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary
and so on. ecocentric texts. remains a benchmark text in the field because of the passion of its contributors. and the diversity of its essays. Love demonstrates the consilience or pattern of universal features in nature predicated by evolution and adaptation that serves as a common subject between these large disciplinary areas.. Another basic resource that reveals the diversity of ecocritical approaches is The ISLE Reader: Ecocriticism. which comprises essays that take diverse approaches. edited by Michael Branch and Scott Slovic (who is the author of Going Away to Think. 1993-2003.” and Glotfelty and Fromm included that text in their volume. The British counterpart to The ISLE Reader is The Green Studies Reader: From Romanticism to Ecocriticism. and the Formation of American Culture. Glen Love delivered a speech titled “Revaluing Nature: Toward an Ecological Literary Criticism. Buell offers four criteria for determining whether a text is environmental: first. saves. we will have no use for ecocriticism.” Garrard also categorizes the literary loci of the environment: pastoral. Ecocriticism can serve as an introductory textbook in the field. wilderness. second. a wave that focused on nature writing.” Timothy Morton’s Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics complements Buell’s work by pursuing the nature of nature in ecocriticism. At the same meeting. one that would focus on the cultural dimensions of humans’ relationship to the environment. and natural history. has been teaching and writing for years with the intent of bringing communication between the natural sciences and the humanities closer together. A product of the revived interest in nature writing in the late twentieth century. for example. Presenting and stimulating discourse between literature and the natural sciences. Published in the “New Critical Idiom” series. this work is in the first-wave category. edited by Michael Branch et al.” ecocriticism oriented toward nature writing has led to urban and ecojustice revisionism. In short. In Ecocriticism. Yet ecocriticism. “there is some sense of the environment as a process. and postcolonial studies. Biology. more than any of his other books to date. and the Environment nicely outlines the issues that the “two cultures” face together. Glotfelty had urged literary critics to develop an ecological approach to literature. animals.. In The Greening of Literary Scholarship: Literature. In this manifesto. dwelling. a leader in the development of ecocriticism. His Practical Ecocriticism: Literature. apocalypse. Theory. As Garrard points out in a chapter titled “Futures: The Earth. “the human interest is not . should “the environment” come to be considered everything that surrounds anything. In postmodern studies. He also reaches beyond the American nature writers to diverse and global texts.. and ultimately all space. Glen Love. “the nonhuman environment is present not merely as a framing device”. emphasizes as essential and necessary a shift in ecocriticism to study built as well as natural environments. which with its many voices eloquently challenges the notion that nonhuman nature is subordinate to human nature. it makes clear that the perception of the environment in literature is a matter of ethics and survival. In a 1989 Western Literature Association meeting. this collection takes the reader beyond place or setting to the specifics of swamps. despite its murky borders. to a certain extent—suggests that nature can be anything. a belief that is rapidly becoming outdated. But for the present. Along with offering a useful glossary and bibliography. Creativity and Environment: New Environmentalist Criticism focus on the politics of environmental crisis. some political praxis is still associated with ecocriticism. His ecocritical approach originated in his outstanding work on Henry David Thoreau. making no excuse for political praxis. Its nineteen essays cover broad landscapes and are written by top ecocritics in the field. Buell identifies the environmental movement’s forays into English departments as the first wave of ecocriticism. Greg Garrard measures this by the extent to which one uses. Another excellent compilation is Reading the Earth: New Directions in the Study of Literature and Environment. which culminated in 1995 with The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau.Ecology. primarily English. providing a Who’s Who and a What’s What of the field of ecocriticism as it was then emerging. which moves from unbuilt to built environments. the “environment” takes on new meaning. which looks at ecocritical responsibility).” devoted its summer 1999 issue to ecocriticism. the contributors look at texts from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature to the animal stories of German writer Otto Alscher and address a necessary question: what are the goals of ecocriticism at large? All of Lawrence Buell’s work is primary to ecocriticism. and the Environment. an online journal that “resists short-lived trends and subsuming ideologies. one that promises to stay. just as an office cubicle is an environment). Garrard’s book is useful in its coining categories of how one positions oneself toward the environment. editor Steven Rosendale gathers a selection of essays written primarily by professors of American literature. “human accountability to the environment is part of the text’s ethical orientation”. or ignores the environment. first-wave ecocriticism gave way to secondwave ecocriticism. The essays in Green Studies examine major writers. In their study of environmental issues. Like other collections. Another essential text promoting interdisciplinary study is Coming into Contact: Explorations in Ecocritical Theory and Practice. the only legitimate interest”. In this groundbreaking work. and fourth.” Buell went on to write Writing for an Endangered World. In fact. more than fifteen years after its publication. Nature Writing. and cover basic genres. In this sense. third. which. so much so that he finds it “more productive to think inclusively of environmentality as a property of any text. including “nonspace” (a blank page may be an environment. Originating at a 1998 December 2009 8 CHOICE . internment camps. edited by Annie Merrill Ingram et al. queer. The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination. feminist. In Garrard’s scheme. continues to be a vibrant and relevant approach to literature. Here he revokes the dualism between nature and humans and approaches both built and unbuilt nature. takes the threats to and concerns about the environmental crisis head on. New Literary History. and the Earth. edited by Laurence Coupe. Another of Buell’s books. ecocriticism defies a neat paradigm or unified methodology typical of. most ecocritics would probably identify themselves as “environmentalists” or “deep ecologists. Its scholarly essays address the fluidity of boundaries between environment and literature and expand the limits and theory of identity and location. from wilderness to urban landscapes. Morton documents the changing definition of the word “nature” and—echoing Buell. The essays in Fiona Becket and Terry Gifford’s useful collection Culture. its scholarly breadth and depth. which.
which predates Carson’s groundbreaking work by a half century. now in its fourth edition. god-permeated universe. Jonathan Bate revisits the claims of natural law and natural right by extending and applying them to the nonhuman existence in his Romantic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition. Precursors to Ecocriticism Moving backward in time to the 1960s and 1970s.conference titled “Representing Place. and human perspectives on nonhumans. and Aldo Leopold. the scholarly yet beautiful The Song of the Earth.” as a place that deserves loyalty and preservation. In his subsequent work. Murphy. the song of the Earth. dwelling. Byron. Although he focuses primarily on the British Romantics. as do the writings of California naturalist John Muir. and Literature in America foresees the inevitable development of ecocriticism as a completely interdisciplinary study. one finds a number of important resources on what came to be known as ecocriticism.” Roderick Frazier Nash’s Wilderness and the American Mind. the founding editor of ISLE. Among them is Muir’s The Story of My Boyhood and Youth. Ecology. Robert Pogue Harrison’s Forests: The Shadow of Civilization seeks changes in perceptions of nature by looking at the forest as depicted in Western culture. Silent Spring continues to be a classic in environmental nonfiction. Ecocritics have scooped up Muir. An important follow-up to Nash’s book. This groundbreaking work introduces the idea of December 2009 literary ecology by emphasizing comedy in a discussion of how the natural world strives for survival. Williams focuses on the urbanism that competes with the bucolic English countryside.’” More recent works include. Boundaries. and the excellent recent studies of this canonical writer include More Day to Dawn: Thoreau’s Walden for the Twenty-First Century. an exposure of the environmental hazards of DDT. and others and debates whether this Romantic notion of nature is a metaphor for the self rather than a tribute to the biotic world. Culture. been the exception. which complements Buell’s work on American Romanticism in The Environmental Imagination. our locus. not in lieu of but in addition to themselves in their environment. Ursula Heise also creates new ecocritical perspectives in Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global. engaging new debates between the two worlds of science and the humanities.” these thirteen essays concern themselves with an approach to ecocritical studies that can be combined with other methodologies. Merchant closes the chasm between the cultures of the humanities and the sciences by linking the methods of science to the formation of societal norms. mentioned above. feminist. Keats. and his book is equally revered. Ultimately. In Ecological Literary Criticism: Romantic Imagining and the Biology of Mind. is a classic study of how wilderness is an idea that needs to be understood before environmentalism can be understood. Also not to be overlooked is Patrick Murphy’s Ecocritical Explorations in Literary and Cultural Studies: Fences. Two titles are especially important: Leo Marx’s The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America and Raymond Williams’s The Country and the City.” major weather. In a chapter on Hamlet. and the Scientific Revolution. and Fields. Kroeber makes a compelling case for interdisciplinary study of the impact of the natural world and poetic process. most notably. Looking at how to read literature in terms of its relationship to “nature. Equally important to the revisioning of nature is Carolyn Merchant’s outstanding The Death of Nature: Women. Terry Gifford’s Reconnecting with CHOICE 9 . science fiction. Dana Phillips’s The Truth of Ecology: Nature. And Louise Westling’s The Green Breast of the New World traces the patriarchal view of nature in Western culture from Gilgamesh to the present. John Muir. Four more-recent titles stand out. Bate identifies the possibility for humans to listen to the environment. Joseph Meeker’s The Comedy of Survival: Studies in Literary Ecology stands not as a precursor but as an early founding text. here continues an investigation of ecocritical theory that follows from his previous books—Farther Afield in the Study of Nature-Oriented Literature and Understanding Gary Snyder—in which he blazes new trails in teaching about the environment and enlivening syllabi in English classes. the picturesque and the sublime. As an important precursor to ecofeminist studies. Westling’s book followed Annette Kolodny’s The Lay of the Land. Karl Kroeber paves the way for sane. in which she urges ecocritics to look beyond the immediacy of place and envision the Earth as “our place. This classic in the study of American literature exemplifies the fertile ground that gave birth to ecocriticism in the United States. Bate expands his ecocritical focus on the Romantics to Coleridge. and sublime literary studies. particularly his campaigns against damming the Hetch Hetchy River in the Sierra Nevadas. Nash provides landmark readings of Henry David Thoreau. which traces the Renaissance shift toward patriarchal authority that expunged the female presence in an Aristotelian. Marx identifies the machine as the advancement of technology in what was considered by many to be the virgin land of America. Murphy introduces the value of “one anothering” instead of “othering” when one perceives nature and/ or wilderness. he innovatively shows that Hamlet’s doubts are directed not only at the world of humans. of course. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. which first appeared in 1962 and inaugurated twentieth-century environmentalism. which looks at metaphor and “American life and letters. Nature Writers and the Literature on Them Ecocriticism developed because scholars in English departments began to question why nature writing was traditionally poorly represented in course syllabi. edited by Sandra Harbert Petrulionis and Laura Dassow Walls. The collection sets up a dialogue between ecocriticism and historicist. Henry David Thoreau has. In a similar fashion. Williams does the same for Britain. Cartesian dualism. The Song of the Earth addresses the social liberation of Enlightenment thinking. inspiring prospects for merging the interests between the arts and the sciences. it includes Robert Cummings’s refreshing ecocritical essay “Thoreau’s Divide: Rediscovering the Environmentalist/Agriculturalist Debate in Walden’s ‘Baker Farm.
to select just a few of many individuals and topics. Leslie Marmon Silko. including excerpts of texts. Virginia Woolf. and science fiction. In addition to an elucidation of Muir’s writings. The Library of America took up the task of bringing together. Watson entered a brave new world of literary criticism. He shows that ecological concerns were present and assailed at that time. Susan Fennimore Cooper. frontier writing. A seminal contribution to the expansion of the study of nature writing is Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism. as happens when scholars succeed in bringing an area of study from the margins into the mainstream. It presents works by the most famous American nature writers. edited by Laird Christensen. Peter Matthiessen. and portrayals of the landscapes of the American West. and the unbuilt environment across (and slightly beyond) the entire span of American and British literature. manifested by encroachment on natural resources and refiguring epistemological priorities in creation. American Earth: Environmental Writing since Thoreau. edited by Thomas Hallock.John Muir: Essays in Post-Pastoral Practice presents Muir as writer of environmental texts par excellence. and he prefaces each chapter with his own poetry on Muir. So too will ecocriticism merge into mainstream studies when the disenfranchised gain and assume authority. psychology. ASLE (the online presence of the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment) will be an excellent resource and also provides online access to the ASLE Handbook on Graduate Study in Literature and Environment. In an essay of this length. and that leads directly to Native American studies. Also included is work by lesser luminaries. is invaluable. One example is Robert Watson’s Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance. and in doing so shares the varied history and basic tenets of ecofeminism. in which he investigates the healing power nature provides to autobiographers suffering grief. environmental justice looms large in ecocriticism. collects interesting essays written about famous and less familiar female nature writers.. Early Modern Ecostudies: From the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare. Treated here are the book of Deuteronomy. Women Writing Nature: A Feminist View. Aldo Leopold. edited by Barbara Cook. Environmental Justice and Related Fields Some ecocritics argue that to separate the environment as an isolated phenomenon is to revitalize not only the sovereignty of humans over nature but also the inequities that that sovereignty entails. and Mary Oliver. Barry Lopez. edited by Deborah Carmichael.. key environmental texts. In terms of the general field of poetics. Those who teach environmental literature will want Teaching North American Environmental Literature. and Barbara Kingsolver. what remains? The reality is that. If ecocriticism fades away. and Fred Waage. and the work of other Renaissance writers. Joni Adamson’s important American Indian Literature. Mary Austin. turning to film studies. for example. Mark Long. though we may not call them ecocriticism—a terminology that is already beginning to fall out of use—we will always have critical studies of how the environment is perceived in literature. their cause diminishes in relation to their success. suffice to say their work is more and more incorporated into the classroom. Lynn White Jr. This interesting collection joins ecocriticism with film studies. Toni Morrison. which demonstrates conclusively and with authority that concerns about the environment and its impact on human society (including health) were as central to seventeenth-century poets as they are today. Accordingly. With Muir as his focus. which presents a diverse set of essays that not only address critical approaches—ecocriticism and environmental justice among them— but also provide class plans and innovative ways to teach the work of nature writers and other place-based literature. Ivo Kamps. and Ecocriticism: The Middle Place looks at how Native American authors address environmental and ecological concerns. One of the most fascinating new studies in ecocriticism. David Gilcrest’s Greening the Lyre makes a compelling case for the development of an ecopoetics in which nonhuman language lies outside the purview of current studies of poetry. Marvel’s pastoral lyrics. He witnesses the values of human relationship with nonhuman animals and natural landscapes in numerous environmental texts by such writers as Terry Tempest Williams. providing a useful map for practicing ecocriticism in the classroom and in literary research. Walt Whitman. Environmental Justice. edited by Karla Armbruster and Kathleen Wallace. In writing this meticulous study of Shakespeare’s comedies. And finally. the book provides pedagogic advice on immersing in and teaching environmental literature. Chaucer. and Karen Raber (and released in the “Early Modern Cultural Studies” series). These essays go beyond the usual suspects to the ideas of wilderness. assembles essays that challenge the limits of ecocriticism not only in terms of arcane subject matter— for example. politics. it looks at the culture of the early modern cat—but also in looking at the unspoken assumption that human perceptions of nature have been somewhat consistent throughout history. Other preeminent ecocritical works on the traditional English-language canon include Gabriel Egan’s Green Shakespeare: From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism (released in the “Accents on Shakespeare” series) and Diane McColley’s Poetry and Ecology in the Age of Milton and Marvell (“Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity” series). updated by Barbara Cook and Tina Richardson. Covering the works of such writers December 2009 10 CHOICE . Gifford demonstrates how to teach an ecocritical approach to literature. and William Least Heat Moon. Woody Guthrie. one finds The Landscape of Hollywood Westerns: Ecocriticism in an American Film Genre. now in its fourth edition. Edward Abbey. Ecocritical Studies in Traditional Fields of Literature When critics seek to understand the aesthetics. edited by Bill McKibben (whose The End of Nature deals with global warming) and with a foreword by Al Gore. including Willa Cather and Kathleen Dean Moore. and/or science of the hegemony of one group over another. in one volume. nature. among them Muir. edited by Dan Philippon et al. Mark Allister demonstrates a new use for nature writing in Refiguring the Map of Sorrow: Nature Writing and Autobiography. one can only dip into the long list of nature writers. The resulting anthology.
Dr. the book includes an ecocritical perspective that cannot be ignored. writing. and teaching. In this work of creative nonfiction. edited by Sidney Dobrin and Kenneth Kidd. she documents problems in identity. E. Looking at such figures as Walt Disney.” providing a definitive. the essays in this collection focus on urban and suburban environments and the cultures that emerge from them. the Environment and Culture in Canada. and film. ecocritical scholarship. White. Wild Things: Children’s Culture and Ecocriticism. Ecocriticism has expanded globally. demonstrates that the study of the environment in children’s literature produces important normative conclusions on how humans perceive and treat the environment. music. Reed is also contributor to The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics. Although primarily a collection of literary criticism of key writers and critics. scholarly account of what is now called “ecopocalypse. ISLE’s predecessor.” Kosek asserts that material and “symbolic” nature are factors integral to inequities in race and class in America. launched in 1989. Basso (an anthropologist and rancher) explores the lore. and ethnography of ancestral and modern Apache landscapes. edited by Michael Bennett and David Teague. by Zita Ingham and Ron Steffens. relevant news. the Canadian offshoot of ASLE—provides links to international ASLE affiliates and resources in Canadian ecocriticism. poetry. art. in From Apocalypse to Way of Life geologist Frederick Buell (brother of Lawrence Buell. includes 120 pages of works pertaining to ecocriticism (compiled by Ingham). In 2009.” which challenges ecocriticism in terms of environmental justice. discussed above) writes about the “environmental crisis in the American century. Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and Environment: ISLE. discussed early in this essay) and merge it with the characteristics of Garrard’s “dwelling. The Goose. and Handbook on Graduate Study in Literature and the Environment. Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment: Bibliography. He would add “belonging” to Garrard’s topics (as presented in Ecocriticism. and Leslie Marmon Silko. Looking at literature. Journals. and ecological landscapes and in so doing delivers an ecocritical study of both past and present Native American culture. Visitors to Washington State University’s Environmental Justice Cultural Studies site can find T. creative writing. among other forms. ASLE “seeks to facilitate interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to the study of nature and culture through forms such as nature writing. pedagogy. Understories serves as an informative and contextual source for the dangers of nuclear power and the cooperation necessary to protect the world. but 1990-97 titles are also available in print. Seuss. lays. Last. Those who broaden the term “environment” to include all environs will discover urban ecocritics and their rich study of cities. “ISLE seeks to explore the relation between human beings and the natural world. and poetry.” ASLE’s annotated bibliography is now available online.300 entries. William Wordsworth. 1990-1993. Reed questions any study of literature and the environment that does not acknowledge the exigencies of race and class. this flagship journal (now available through Oxford Journals) went from semiannual to quarterly publication. which documents environmental issues as particularly linked to social inequalities. a directory of universities and colleges in the United States with graduate programs and degrees in environmental sciences. while facilitating the development of a theoretical foundation for these activities. Jake Kosek seeks the nature of the Native American sense of place. has been designed to CHOICE 11 . The Web site for ALECC—the Association for Literature. Reed’s essay “Environmental Justice Ecocriticism: A Memo-festo. ASLE’s first print bibliography. Since 1993. The American Nature Writing Newsletter (“a biannual publication devoted to the study of writing on nature”). Beatrix Potter. Essential to the study of urban environments and how they are perceived is The Nature of Cities: Ecocriticism and Urban Environments. the bibliography has been available in ASLE’s official journal.” The ASLE bibliography now contains almost 1. the authors of these essays hail from a variety of disciplines. edited by Joni Adamson. science writing. and human ecology. Joy Harjo. is also available online. Its online journal. and Web Sites The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) is an invaluable source for students of ecocriticism. alienation.as Louise Erdrich. providing links to articles and online texts. This ecological colonization includes not only smallpox epidemics in the Americas but also long-term psychological and medical effects of colonization in tropical climates worldwide. The bibliography draws entries from 194 scholarly sources and institutions related to ecocriticism. and publishes articles from literary scholars in other fields relevant to ‘literature and environment. V. Second-wave ecocriticism treats such environments as disease landscapes and medical geography of global disease wrought on environments by colonialism.’” Its stated goals are “to encourage such scholarship. as depicted in Silko’s multidimensional. Mei Mei Evans. Bewell identifies these concerns in the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. which is now available online. Alan Bewell looks at the impact colonialism had on infecting native populations and how British Romantic literature reflects that epidemiological crisis. Founded in 1992 (its one thousand members include twenty-three international affiliates). environmental novel Ceremony. and many others. Other resources available on the ASLE site are the ecocritical library.” Bibliographies. Poetics and Pedagogy. original Romanticism and Colonial Disease. and Jim Henson. film. not including those collected in the print bibliography between 1990 and 1997. John Keats. and Rachel Stein. In his brilliant. According to the journal’s Web site. B. ed. announcements about professional events and conferences. In a complementary work. and Tejumola Olaniyan and Ato Quayson offer an African perspective in African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory. Understories: The Political Life of Forests in Northern New Mexico. Another prizewinning book that might not fall under the strict rubric of ecocritism but will interest all students of language and landscape is Keith Basso’s Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache. December 2009 Several books offering ecological treatments of other fields merit mention. environmental literature.
The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination. Iowa. Jan’06. 2007. Jan’76). North Carolina. Annette. ed. Oct’01. The Green Studies Reader: From Romanticism to Ecocriticism. Keith Alman et al. Coming into Contact: Explorations in Ecocritical Theory and Practice. Dec’02. Forests: The Shadow of Civilization. by Steven Rosendale. Carson. 2004. Belknap. The End of Nature. Romanticism and Colonial Disease. by Bill McKibben. 2001 (CH. Barry. Leo. and Ecofeminism”). 2001 (CH. Nevada.” available through ^IBreakthrough Institute^R <http://www. 27-3875). Mei Mei Evans. 40-3255). Harrison. Buell. ed. Ashgate. Culture. Georgia. Oxford. once the literary arm of environmentalism. The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics. Love. The Association.L. Marx. 1989 (CH. Routledge. McKibben. The Greening of Literary Scholarship: Literature. 1964. ed. 2007 (CH. University Press of Virginia. Romantic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition.shtml>. ed. McColley. 2002 (CH. The ISLE Reader: Ecocriticism. Mark. 2006 (CH. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache. Egan. African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory. Such a cause as a literary venture includes promoting literature that impacts the environment and serves the agenda. Nature Writing. 2008 (CH. Apr’08. by Karla Armbruster and Kathleen R. Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global. The Landscape of Hollywood Westerns: Ecocriticism in an American Film Genre. Diane Kelsey. and Environment in the U. 2005 (CH. Jan’02. Peter. Rachel. 2007 (CH. 1990-1993. Columbia. Heise. ed. Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus proclaimed that global warming politics can no longer be a “cause. Random House. 2008 (CH. Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment: Bibliography. Carmichael.” The environmental crisis requires global change. 46-5456). by Michael P. will be all literature. 44-3780). ed. religious. Bewell. Literary Classics of the United States. Early Modern Ecostudies: From the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare. 1996. by Tejumola Olaniyan and Ato Quayson. Harvard. From Apocalypse to Way of Life: Environmental Crisis in the American Century. and Karen L. 1994 (CH. if ecocriticism does its work. Kroeber. ____. New Mexico. 463859). 2001 (CH. Houghton Mifflin. Nov’92. 2003. Greg. Buell. The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau. Arizona. Jake. ed. The ten entries for ecocriticism in American letters (19962004) are all discussed in this essay. 45-5409). or social cause. Routledge. ed. by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm. Harvard.. now available online. Wallace. Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism. by Thomas Hallock. Creativity and Environment: New Environmentalist Criticism. by Annie Merrill Ingram et al. ed. Greening the Lyre: Environmental Poetics and Ethics. Karl. Mar’90. Ecocriticism. 1991 (CH. contributing eds. by Zita Ingham and Ron Steffens. Gilcrest. Mar’09. The Song of the Earth. Environmental Justice. ____. University Press of Virginia. 1995 (CH. Chicago. peer-reviewed journals include the Journal of Ecocriticism (JoE). 2000. and the Environment. 2009. Ursula K. 2006. ecocriticism started out with a simple agenda. 402002). Kosek. Period. and Green Theory and Praxis: The Journal of Ecopedagogy (launched in 2005). 2006. Poetry and Ecology in the Age of Milton and Marvell.org/about.A. Nov’01. and the Formation of American Culture. University Press of Virginia. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. Silent Spring. Biology. Georgia. Routledge. Ecocriticism.. Joni. 2003. by Deborah A.S. Arizona. Works Cited Adamson. Kolodny. Apr’02. Another online bibliography is available at PAL: Perspectives in American Literature (Appendix U: “Nature. which. 39-5024). Gabriel. Keith H. 2002 (CH. 30-1335). 39-1386). Apr’03. distributed by Penguin Putnam. 2002 (CH. In their 2004 essay “The Death of Environmentalism: Global Warming Politics in a PostEnvironmental World. Johns Hopkins. 2001 (CH. launched in 2008. Routledge. Basso. Glen A. Sep’95. Belknap. 33-0121). 45-4233). Jun’08. Harvard. Routledge. 40-4582). Raber. Poetics & Pedagogy. Ecocriticism. has evolved into a multidisciplinary approach to all environmental literature. Allister. 38-3176). 39-0768). Georgia. Alan. Branch and Scott Slovic. Other useful new online. Ivo Kamps. and Beyond. Manchester. 28-2544). Ecological Literary Criticism: Romantic Imagining and the Biology of Mind. Georgia. The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America. Practical Ecocriticism: Literature. Gifford. 1962.M.complement ISLE with articles on Canadian literature. and Rachel Stein. Blackwell. May’02. 43-2657). thebreakthrough. American Indian Literature. ed. by Fiona Becket and Terry Gifford. American Earth: Environmental Writing since Thoreau. The Australasian Universities Modern Language Association also prints its own journal. Frederick. 32-6062). 1993-2003. Theory. 1975 (CH. 2003. A. ed. Jonathan. The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Utah. 2000 (CH. ed. 1995. Writing for an Endangered World: Literature. Jun’09. and Ecocriticism: The Middle Place. Bill. Terry. Rodopi. 3rd ed. 1992 (CH. 1996. Lawrence. Refiguring the Map of Sorrow: Nature Writing and Autobiography. Jul’95. Blackwell. David W. Mar’07. Palgrave Macmillan. Feb’03. 2007. Culture. and the Environment. by Joni Adamson. Garrard. 1994. Robert Pogue.U. 1999. 39-4412). Oxford. Bate. Reconnecting with John Muir: Essays in Post-Pastoral Practice. Ecocriticism may well be in its demise already. Ecocritics argue that literature that discourages that agenda should be reevaluated under the scrutiny of contemporary concerns. 2008. ed. which was—more or less—to save the environment. Feb’01. ___. 12 CHOICE December 2009 . by Laurence Coupe. 2006. Duke. Understories: The Political Life of Forests in Northern New Mexico. What Next? Like any political. Green Shakespeare: From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism . The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters.
2008 (CH. the Environment and Culture in Canada http://www.L. Yale. Dec’92. Scribner. Harper and Row.org/journal/index. Teaching North American Environmental Literature. 2007. Apr’09. 2008. Muir.org/ Journal of Ecocriticism: A New Journal of Nature. Nevada. Joseph W. Ecology. 46-4306). Mark C. 2004 (CH. Going Away to Think: Engagement. Slovic. Society and Literature [JoE] http://ojs.Meeker. Arizona. May’99. ed. Boundaries. 42-1436). by Michael Branch et al. Morton. 1980. Phillips. 1999. Oxford.php/joe New Literary History http://muse.wsu. 2003.org A. Carolyn. 45-5443). Nov’04.alecc. 41Sup-0124) http://www. 1973 Women Writing Nature: A Feminist View.. Lexington. by Sidney I. The Death of Nature: Women. Jun’08. by Sandra Harbert Petrulionis and Laura Dassow Walls.net/cgi-bin/journalseek/ journalsearch. John.ca December 2009 CHOICE 13 . .php/ journal Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and Environment: ISLE http://isle. Scott. The American Nature Writing Newsletter http://www. and Literature in America.2 ASLE: The Association for the Study of Literature & Environment (CH. Nash. ed. Westling.oxfordjournals. The Green Breast of the New World: Landscape. Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics. and American Fiction. Watson. Georgia. Understanding Gary Snyder.: Journal of the Australasian Universities Modern Language Association http://journalseek. and Fred Waage. Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance. Houghton Mifflin. Massachusetts.edu/~amerstu/ce/ce. 1996 (CH. Oxford. 2001. Jul’00. Patrick D. 1992 (CH. Wild Things: Children’s Culture and Ecocriticism. More Day to Dawn: Thoreau’s Walden for the Twenty-First Century. Ecocritical Explorations in Literary and Cultural Studies: Fences. ____. Williams. South Carolina.jhu. ____. Lexington. ed. The Country and the City. The Comedy of Survival: Studies in Literary Ecology.U. Timothy. Wayne State.asle. Robert N. Raymond. 37-6107). The Story of My Boyhood and Youth.cgi?field=issn&query=0001-2793 Environmental Justice Cultural Studies http://www. Merchant. and Fields. Sup’04. 4th ed. Reading the Earth: New Directions in the Study of Literature and Environment. 34-2652). Cook. The Truth of Ecology: Nature.html Green Theory & Praxis: The Journal of Ecopedagogy http://greentheoryandpraxis.html Internet/Journals ALECC: Association for Literature. 2007 (CH.org/assets/docs/anwn1. 2006 (CH. Pennsylvania. by Barbara J. ed. Louise H. Murphy. Retreat.asle. and the Scientific Revolution. 45-0729). Kidd. 2009. Culture. University Press of Virginia.csustan. 36-4807) http://www. Wilderness and the American Mind. Harvard. Modern Language Association of America.edu/english/reuben/pal/ TABLE. ed.A. Roderick Frazier.unbc. Teague. 1967. and Ecocritical Responsibility.edu/journals/new%5Fliterary% 5Fhistory/ PAL: Perspectives in American Literature— A Research and Reference Guide (CH. 44-0194).ca/index. Gender. 1998. Jan’07. Oct’07. ed. 1913.M. by Laird Christensen. Long. 2000 (CH. 2008 (CH. 30-1936). by Michael Bennett and David W. Dana. The Nature of Cities: Ecocriticism and Urban Environments. Sep’06. Farther Afield in the Study of NatureOriented Literature. Dobrin and Kenneth B. Idaho.
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